Inclusive Education Initiative Newsletter #25

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Transforming Education for Children with Disabilities
October 2023 | Issue #25

Dear IEI Members,

This community keeps growing. We are thrilled to report that we recently reached an incredible milestone of more than 27,000 members on our LinkedIn Community of Practice!

Thank you so much for being with us, for your continuous participation and contributions, and for your passion for achieving the goal of ensuring all children have access to quality, inclusive education. This community would not exist without you! Today, however, after four years of the IEI CoP, we want to hear from you.

Please take the time to answer our brief survey because your opinion is extremely important to us! Your responses will help us understand how we can improve the value and impact of this community.

We have seen so many good things going on for children with disabilities around the world and happy to share some of those here in this newsletter.

Please reach out to us if you have a blog post or anything else you would like featured on the IEI website—we are happy to feature your work on disability-inclusive education.  You can email us at or join our LinkedIn Group and post questions directly there.

All the best,
The Inclusive Education Initiative Team

Ubuntu Hub Shared Learning Webinar Series: Exploring communication challenges for children with developmental disabilities​
This is the fourth webinar in the series to engage those working in early child disability including the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s ‘Ubuntu Hub’ global community of practice. 

This one-hour online webinar explored the importance of addressing the variety of communication challenges in children with developmental disabilities and shared practical strategies to support the development of communication skills through a panel discussion of real-life case studies.
Watch the Recording

Ensuring Education is Inclusive of those at Highest Risk of Being Excluded (COSP16 Side Event)
On June 13th, 2023, UNESCO and Inclusion International, together with the Permanent Missions of Portugal and Colombia to the United Nations, co-organized this side event at the margins of the Conference of State Parties (CoSP) to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN-CRPD).

This side event is a contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 4 on "Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all" and to the follow-up to the UN Transforming Education Summit, which was convened by the UN Secretary-General in response to the global crisis in education – one of equity and inclusion, quality and relevance. 87% of the National Commitments to Transform Education expressed during the Summit recognized "the importance of ensuring more inclusive education systems to cater for the needs of the most vulnerable learners and communities".
Using Principles of Universal Design for Assessment (UDA) Design Accessible Learning Assessments
The purpose of this toolkit is to generate knowledge on how to develop and adapt assessment tools using principles of universal design that yield reliable and valid data and information to track the learning outcomes of marginalized learners, including learners with disabilities.
Global Report on Children with Developmental Disabilities
This WHO-UNICEF Global Report is a call for action to intentionally include children and young people with developmental disabilities in renewed global and country level efforts to enable transformations towards the SDGs. It proposes priority actions to accelerate individual-, family-, community-, and society-level changes to achieve inclusion and health equity. The report makes the case for greater investment and accountability to build inclusive and responsive multisectoral care systems for children and young people with developmental disabilities. 
Educating Girls with Disabilities
This study reviews how projects in the Girls’ Education Challenge Phase II (GEC II) supported girls with disabilities and the outcomes of these interventions. The most common interventions undertaken by the projects were teacher training, peer activities, after-school clubs for the girls with disabilities, and community and family awareness sessions promoting the importance of education and providing assistive devices. Girls with disabilities across the programme showed improvements in socio-emotional skills including increased self-confidence and more positive interactions with family, peers, and community members, as well as some progress in literacy and numeracy outcomes.
Disability Inclusive Education Toolkit
This toolkit provides guidance and resources for integrating disability into the USAID Program Cycle. It consists of six parts: Country and Regional Strategic Planning; Project and Activity; Design; Project and Activity Implementation; Monitoring and Evaluation; Learning and Adapting; and Event Accessibility.
São Paulo Smart Mobility Program Report
This report highlights the development of the São Paulo Smart Mobility Program- which implemented various technical analyses and consultancy projects to promote integrated and sustainable transport systems in São Paulo. The IEI-funded activity ‘Safe and Accessible School Routes for Children’ was one such study which involved the collection and use of data to identify needs and opportunities for improving accessibility for the most vulnerable populations such as children, caregivers, and low-income families. This process generated key information for workshop discussions and project follow-up promoting the active involvement of local communities to improve access to school for children and their caregivers. 
Disability-Inclusive Pre-Primary Education White Paper
This White Paper is designed for donors, education practitioners, and governments, and uses the evidence base from high-income countries to show how disability-inclusive pre-primary education (PPE) programming can be realized internationally, with examples of existing promising practice from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). These promising practices were obtained through a comprehensive landscape as well as global and regional ideation events with experts in disability and PPE. The White Paper also provides background on the status of disability-inclusive PPE worldwide and principles of disability-inclusive PPE that should apply to all programs. 
Multi-Country Overview of Barriers and Opportunities for Children and Adolescents with Disabilities
This report is a regional synthesis of assessments of barriers and opportunities for children and adolescents with disabilities in Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The report highlights promising practices in laws and policies, service provision, availability of data and evidence, and changing attitudes and behaviors towards children with disabilities.
Approaches to Deliver Inclusive Education in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia
This report presents a review of different approaches in service delivery being implemented in the regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to ensure the inclusion of children with disabilities in education. The review examines in what ways (and the extent to which) different approaches have been operationalized and contextualized to enable the inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream education systems, focusing specifically on primary schooling.
Global education monitoring report, 2023: technology in education: a tool on whose terms?
In asking ‘A tool on whose terms?’, the Report shows that regulations for technology set outside of the education sector will not necessarily address education’s needs. It is released along with a #TechOnOurTerms campaign, calling for decisions about technology in education to prioritize learner needs after assessment of whether its application would be appropriate, equitable, evidence-based and sustainable. It provides a compass for policy makers to use when making these decisions.
Inclusive Early Childhood Education for Children with Disabilities in Indonesia
Globally, having disabilities can double the chance of never accessing school, and even if they go to school they tend to drop out before completing primary education. Indonesia is no exception, and despite the government’s efforts in recent decades, in particular, inclusive early childhood education (ECE) for children with disabilities is still significantly overlooked in policy, practice and empirical research. Rather, inclusive education policy and programs often highlight primary and secondary education, meanwhile inclusion is not a key focus in ECE in Indonesia.
Assistive Technologies for Children with Disabilities in Inclusive and Special Schools in Indonesia
This study addresses this knowledge gap, focusing on the Indonesian context. This empirical study of the Indonesian context aims to rigorously examine availability and usage of assistive technologies for children with disabilities. It reviews key challenges and support needed in both inclusive and special schools, focusing on teachers in primary and secondary education in Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology (MoECRT).
Disability-Inclusive Humanitarian Action Toolkit
This toolkit is a set of short guidance, practical tools, and capacity-building packages that provide operational guidance on including children with disabilities in humanitarian action. In accordance with the UNICEF Core Commitments for Children (CCCs) in Humanitarian Action, the toolkit provides practical information on how to plan, coordinate, implement and monitor humanitarian responses that address the needs and priorities of children with disabilities. The toolkit’s development was led by UNICEF in collaboration with CBM Global and its Inclusion Advisory Group. 
Working together to ensure the right of girls with disabilities to live free from violence
UNICEF, UN Women, WHO, ILO, FAO, UNDP, UNFPA and UNPRPD worked together to develop an inter-agency statement on violence against girls with disabilities, listing the main rights violations they face, along with key advocacy messages targeting States, international organizations, civil society and any other stakeholders, highlighting areas where the implementation of the right of girls with disabilities to be free from violence can be strengthened..
Guidance Note on Integrating the Module on Child Functioning in Demographic and Health Surveys

The Child Functioning Module (CFM), developed by UNICEF and the Washington Group on Disability Statistics (WG), is intended to identify children with functional difficulties in a cross-nationally comparable way. It provides an estimate of the size of this population and can be used to measure disparities in well-being outcomes between children with functional difficulties and children without such difficulties. The module covers children aged 2 to 17 years and assesses difficulties in various domains of functioning. It conforms to the biopsychosocial model of disability, focusing on the presence and extent of functional difficulties rather than on body structure or conditions.

Families Find a Way: Children with disabilities in war-torn Ukraine
Disability Right International asked more than 500 brave and courageous families living in Ukraine what they are now experiencing during the war and what they need.

These interviews provide a blueprint of the change that must occur – by governments, donors, policymakers, caregivers, and communities during the war and recovery process. We must hear their stories and listen to their voices.
A New Guide on Sensory Disability for Student Teachers is Bridging the Education Gap in Côte d’Ivoire
Global Partnership for Education -   by Dominique Ngoma Nkenzo, Education Out Loud 
October 09, 2023
Teachers in Côte d’Ivoire often misinterpret and downplay sensory disabilities, despite their significant effect on children’s learning capacity. A new guide, developed with the support of GPE’s Education Out Loud, now equips them to identify and better support children with sensory disabilities.

Equipping Teachers for More Inclusive Classrooms
World Education - A division of JSI
October 4, 2023
Ms. Shanta is a dedicated secondary school resource teacher in Nepal for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Though Ms. Shanta used basic sign language practices, her students faced challenges engaging in lessons, as well as integrating with hearing teachers and students beyond their classroom who did not sign. With limited resources at her disposal, Ms. Shanta did her best, but the absence of support in prioritizing classroom management, arranging her students’ seating, and accessing teaching and learning materials made the learning environment challenging for both her and her students.

Every Child Welcome: Teaching Students of All Abilities
USAID - Rwanda News
October 2023
Nkobmo is stunning, but hard to reach. Surrounded by the lush green hills, this little island in Lake Kivu is home to just over 18,000 people. The small community sticks together, cherishing the tradition of Mashi, a dialect closely linked to the Masi people of southern Africa. To prosper here one must fit in, and be one with the community. 

Unlocking the Power of Inclusion: The Imperative for Disability-Inclusive Data
GPE -  by Catherine Wilczek, UNESCO Bangkok, and Qianyu Li, UNESCO Bangkok
August 8, 2023
With learners with disabilities remaining invisible in many education sector plans due to the absence of accurate data about them, producing and using disability-inclusive data appears crucial for making education more inclusive.

The ‘Missing Children’: Why We Urgently Need an Inclusive Approach to Education in Emergencies
BOND -  by Takyiwa Danso, Inclusive Education Policy Officer at Sightsavers
August 7, 2023
As we cross the halfway mark of 2023, the world has already been rocked by several major humanitarian crises that have impacted children’s education. 
The scale of emergencies this year has strained education systems around the world already buckling under the weight of significant challenges, including a funding gap worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic (estimated at $100 billion) which is hindering progress in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4.

Humanitarian cash transfers changing the lives of persons with disabilities affected by emergencies
UNICEF Ethiopia -  by Diana Hodulikova & Kristel Juriloo,
July 4, 2023
With funding from SIDA, FCDO, and CERF, unconditional shock responsive cash transfer top-ups reached over 2500 households with persons with disabilities in Amhara and Somali, Ethiopia.

Closing the data gap on children with disabilities: The case for data harmonization and partnerships
World Data Forum
June 2023
Disability is a multidimensional concept and various data sources within a country are needed to obtain a holistic picture of children with disabilities and their lived experiences. These data sources need to cover a range of topics, from the personal characteristics of an individual child to her or his access to assistive devices, benefits and services. 

Lila Kossyvaki on Severe Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities
Goal 4 podcast
24 May, 2023
The Associate Professor in Severe, Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities at University of Birmingham discusses resources and support for learners, aligning PMLD with 'all means all', and how inclusion should be seen as a feeling, not a place. You can find out more about Lila's research here.

STEM Courses in Rural Kenya Open Doors for Girls With Disabilities
Voice of America (VOA) News
15 May, 2023
Program offers adaptive resources to teach girls with hearing, visual and other kinds of impairments. 
We want to hear from you!

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